Lawsuits mount: Architects, caterers sue Rishi Kapoor’s Location Ventures, alleging nonpayment of nearly $700K

SB Architects and Unique Culinary Collective’s suits add to the barrage of litigation facing Coral Gables development firm

Rishi Kapoor (Getty)
Rishi Kapoor (Getty)

Rishi Kapoor’s Location Ventures is facing fresh allegations of not paying its vendors. 

In the past three weeks, an architecture firm and a catering company filed separate lawsuits in Miami-Dade Circuit Court against Coral Gables-based Location Ventures. The suits allege they haven’t been paid nearly $700,000 in services provided to the developer. 

On July 7, Coral Gables-based SB Architects sued Location Ventures and an affiliate for alleged nonpayment of about $650,000 for plans and drawings tied to various real estate projects. And on June 29, Miami-based Unique Culinary Collective sued Location Ventures for allegedly skipping out on a $38,873 bill for catering the developer’s groundbreaking of its Edition Residences Fort Lauderdale project. 

James Helf, the attorney for SB Architects, and Omar Ali-Shamaa, Unique Culinary’s lawyer, declined comment. Kapoor and Location Ventures lawyers did not respond to email requests for comment. 

The two lawsuits are the latest signs Location Ventures is in dire straits following the explosive revelation that a company subsidiary was secretly paying Miami Mayor Francis Suarez a $10,000 a month gig as a private consultant. Recently, deep-pocketed married couple Diana Ulis and Alex Kleyner sued Kapoor and a Location Ventures affiliate for allegedly failing to pay them back $25 million that they invested in the company and two of its real estate projects. 

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In its lawsuit, Unique Culinary alleges that it catered the Feb. 9 groundbreaking for the Edition Fort Lauderdale Residences, and that five days later, Location Ventures principals thanked the catering company for its services. Yet, Location Ventures has refused to pay its invoice, the Unique Culinary lawsuit states. 

SB Architects’ complaint states that Location Ventures failed to pay for architectural services tied to four real estate projects in Redland, an unincorporated rural neighborhood in Miami-Dade County; Cat Cay in the Bahamas; and Columbia Falls, Montana. Location Ventures retained SB Architects between 2021 and last year to draw up conceptual and master plans for the proposed developments, the lawsuit states. 

Location Ventures’ legal troubles have been mounting since the beginning of the year. In January, a group of investors sued a Location Ventures affiliate developing a co-living project in Coconut Grove. The lawsuit, which is still pending, seeks to remove Kapoor as the project’s development manager. 

Greg Brooks, a former Location Ventures CFO, is also seeking a court order to force his former employer to pay a $150,000 settlement tied to a lawsuit he filed in May. In his complaint, Brooks alleged Kapoor committed several financial improprieties, including the previously undisclosed deal with Suarez. In a response to Brooks’ lawsuit, Location Ventures confirmed the business arrangement with the Miami mayor, who is running for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. 

Suarez’s freelance employment with Location Ventures is the subject of joint investigation by Miami-Dade’s ethics commission and the state attorney’s office. The FBI is also conducting a public corruption probe, and the Securities and Exchange Commission is conducting a separate inquiry into Location Ventures

Meanwhile, some co-living projects Location Ventures is developing have stalled, including the redevelopment of a Miami Beach property where city officials issued a stop work order because the developer did not obtain building permits. Six contractors also filed liens for a combined $1.2 million in alleged unpaid work against the Location Ventures development entity for the Miami Beach project.